Artefacts from Six Day War found at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount

Archaeologists sifting the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Israel, unearthed bullets, shell casings, and coins dated to the Six Day War of 1967 point to an exchange of fire during the Mount’s recapture from Jordanian soldiers.

Two 50-caliber Browning machine gun projectiles (by Tal Rogovski)

The artefacts were found by the Temple Mount Sifting Project team which is sifting through the 400 truckloads of earth that were illegally removed in 1999 by the Jordanian Islamic Waqf from the Holy Site during a renovation of the Solomon’s Stables section of the mount in 1999. Among the half a million artefacts discovered during the sifting are machine gun magazines, bullets, Jordanian coins, and uniform badges, which may be related to the Israeli Defence Forces’ arrival at the Temple Mount during the Six Day War.

9 mm Uzi bullets (by Tal Rogovski)

From 1948 until 1967, Jerusalem’s Old City was a no-go zone for Israelis and at the outbreak of the Six Day War, Israel had not prepared a plan to retake the area. During the war Israeli shelling was positioned such that the Temple Mount should be spared. Indeed, it is widely thought that few Israeli bullets flew on the Temple Mount during the war. There should be little trace of spent Israeli weapons. However, after capturing the site, it was discovered the Jordanians had stored crates of weapons on the Temple Mount. Findings from the sifting testify to a military response. According to the soldiers taking part in the operation, the orders were not to shoot at the Old City with heavy weaponry or bomb it from the air. The neutralization of the Jordanian positions was done by the infantry forces, and it cost them lives.

Jordanian Hashemite Kingdom coins, dated 1948-1967 (by Tal Rogovski)

On one of the discovered 9 mm bullet casings was an inscription indicating a 1956 manufacture date. Another was manufactured in 1952 and, according to the project, has the Hebrew letters “MIT” (an acronym for the State of Israel’s Military Industry). Additionally, a 7.62 mm blank cartridge was found with a headstamp date of 1957. Some 40 Jordanian Hashemite Kingdom coins were also found, which were nearly all dated to pre-1967, and a coin dated to 1991 with the portrait of King Hussain.

9 mm casing manufactured in 1952 (by Tal Rogovski)

(after Tal Rogovski, Temple Mount Sifting Project & The Times of Israel)

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